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The Most Beautiful Shots of ‘The Lord of The Rings’ Trilogy

From the rolling hills of the Shire to the spires of Barad-dûr, we look at the most beautiful 50 shots from the one trilogy to rule them all.
Lord Of The Rings Trilogy Shots Header
By  · Published on April 17th, 2019

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most foolhardy and formidable efforts in modern cinema. A game-changing nine and a half hours that set the precedent for the 21st-century blockbuster.

Photography on the trilogy was overseen by the late Andrew Lesnie, hot off his second Babe project with fellow Aussie George Miller. Lesnie’s work has a painterly quality to it. It’s flush with compositional confidence that unites nine camera units across three films. Much like the titular fellowship, the trilogy works because of a group effort.

Lesnie’s contribution was capturing both the intimacy and grandeur of Middle Earth, an all too important balancing act to tell a story this big and this human. It’s no small feat: to give attention to individual moments in one frame and to pan out to the big picture in the next. To capture personal heartbreak and military upset with equal care. To ground and guide us as we whip across the open plains, craggy hilltops, and lush forests of Middle Earth.

Much like Howard Shore’s leitmotifs or the delicate regional stitches of Ngila Dickson’s costume work, Lesnie’s cinematography is tremendously rich with a sense of place and feeling. It transports us, there and back again. To testify to this fact, we’ve selected 50 of the most beautiful shots from the trilogy, pulling primarily from the theatrical cuts with some dabbling in the Blu-ray releases. And with that, fly you fools: enjoy the shots!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Cinematography by Andrew Lesnie
Directed by Peter Jackson

Fotr Ring

Nine Kings

Fotr Ash

Fotr Shire

Fotr Reflection

Fotr Dawn

Fotr Hiding G

Fotr Eyes

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Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.